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East Asia

Read the stories of our alumni specialized in East Asia here.

Rianne Schleiffert

Alumni dreams #222

After graduating high school, Rianne had no idea what she wanted to do. She decided to apply for one of the broadest university programs she could find so that she could try different courses and hopefully discover her passion. She ended up specifying on East Asia, mainly due to its diverse political climate and the steady increase in its global influence.

In her thesis she analyzed American news articles on China’s medical aid to the African continent. The topic allowed her to study communicative discourses, which is something she is particularly interested in. “Studying at the BA really taught me to rethink my biases. No matter where you are born and raised, everyone encounters certain ideas about other countries and cultures. The program actively sought to reflect on these ideas and question where they come from.”

After graduating from the BA, Rianne enrolled into a Research Master in Asian Studies at Leiden University. In addition to currently finishing her thesis, she is also working as a research intern at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam. During her master, she has realized how passionate she is about research. The internship in this respect is fulfilling this passion extensively.

After this summer (2023), Rianne will be starting as a Rijkstrainee for the Dutch Ministry of Defense, which she sees as a great way to put her skills to practice further.

In the end looking back upon her bachelor, Rianne notes it is really okay if you are unsure about what it is you exactly want to do in your life or have yet to discover your passion. “The great thing about the BA is that it gives plenty of space to explore these things and gives you room to specialize.”

We champion your commitment to go after your passions Rianne and wish you luck in your new job!

Yasmin Shamsi

Alumni dreams #223

Yasmin was set on having her academic studies be related to Japan, and since she wanted to gain knowledge in a more global oriented setting, she opted to study International Studies.

The BA allowed her to fully explore what it was that she was particularly interested in and helped her in finding what she wanted to pursue further after graduation. In addition, the PRINS project helped to prepare her for the realities of working together in larger groups. “Learning Japanese as part of my bachelor eventually also became very useful, as I now make use of that almost every day, both in academia and in the social settings in my everyday life.”

After graduating from International Studies, Yasmin took a gap year, during which she was offered a job position as an AVS Associate at Amazon in the Netherlands. This position gave her valuable work experience and the opportunity to network further – thereby building on her professional career path.

Currently, she is a first-year student in a two-year Master program in Japanese Humanities (IMAP) at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. “The program feels quite exclusive, with only 13 students (combining the first and second year), which makes for a very tight-knit community full of like-minded individuals from all over the world, who I am able to have inspiring discussions with.” She intends to spend her research time focusing on the traditional Japanese artform of storytelling, otherwise called Rakugo, and its representation in popular culture.

Yasmin sees herself living in Japan long-term and is starting to get herself familiar with the local job market to prepare herself for a flying start after graduating in the fall of 2024.

We wish you the best of luck in your Master and are looking forward to seeing what you will do next Yasmin!

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